Sunday, February 21, 2010


Canada is known as the land of geese, ducks and loons (in more ways than one), so I thought I would show you my duck collection.

"Why is she showing us her duck collection...?"'re asking. Well, because I am too tired from all sorts of Olympic activities to post about anything even slightly stimulating at the moment, and because I love my collection of wooden ducks. And if you look closely in the background, you will see a couple of brass geese that my daughter gave me for Christmas one year, and when they're polished and the fireplace is on, they glow.

I also have a brass duck on one of my bookcases, and it was the first duck in my collection. The bookcase was built by my father, from a pine tree that he felled and had planed, and it is all built with dowels -- no nails. So somehow my little duck fits nicely with my bookcase. When I was a little girl, my father used to go duck hunting in the woods on Vancouver Island. My mother would cure the soft, down feathers and then she made each of us our own eiderdown comforters. My eiderdown was almost a part of me for years. I would curl up with it when I was reading or watching TV, and whenever I was not feeling well, my mother would say, "Go get your eiderdown, and I'll bring you a hot water bottle."

My eiderdown was paisley, and it resided in a place of honor at the foot of my bed. It was great comfort to me through many of the joys and tribulations of my teenage years. I have been pricing eiderdowns lately, considering buying one. Have you looked a the price of eiderdowns? An eiderdown made of pure eider duck down, such as the ones my mother used to make, cost between $8,000 and $10,000.

My Aunt Molly had two pet ducks named Lucille Ball and Winston Churchill, and I think that was the beginning of my fascination with ducks. And yes, I do eat ducks, and I love duck l'orange. So, there you have it. I am a Canadian, and I have a close, personal relationship with ducks. I suppose that makes me a bit of a loon...


Susan said...

Jo, tired as you are, even without trying, you managed to post a really nice piece. Thanks for sharing this glimpse into your family and childhood!

heartinsanfrancisco said...

Your wooden ducks are really beautiful. I nearly cut off my hand when I tried whittling so I have a lot of respect for those who can make such things. I hope you still have your heirloom eiderdown.

lovelyprism said...

You're my favorite loon! :-)

PinkPanthress said...

8.000 to 10.000 Dollar? -Wow, that's a bit pricy!

I love furnishing that are dowelled only, oth your parents were very crafty!! :)b

jeannette stgermain said...

How neat that your mother made her own eiderdown! I love down comforters -it's like silk, warm in the winder and cool in the summer!
Duck is delicouse, whether prepared the French of the Beijing way!

Eddie Bluelights said...

I've see loads of photographs of flying ducks and geese recently so I imagine they are extremely popular in Canada. I rarely see wooden or brass ones though - you have a great collection, Jo and the theme made an interesing post.
I've just seen 'the quack' myself regarding my swollen leg - I require some antibiotics after he had a 'gander' at it he said there is a minor infection there.
He would rather take precautions because he doesn't want to play Ducks and Drakes with me considering the hip operation I have had otherwise I'd cook my goose!
See you soon, Eddie x

Marcos Vinicius Gomes said...

I enjoy ducks when they fly in 'V shape" on the sky! Do you know why they do it?

DJan said...

I also love comforters. I find them the best way to stay warm, and your ducks are very precious. I agree with Susan, your posts are always very interesting and lovely. Like I picture you being, too...

Jo said...

Susan, *heh*. I just had to share my ducks. Are you enjoying the Olympics?

Susan, sadly, I do not still have my eiderdown. I am kicking myself, believe me...!

Charlene, LOL...!!!

PinkPanthress, yes I didn't realize at the time how talented my parents were. Kids never do, d they???

Jeanette, oh, yes, I love duck. But I do wish I still had my eiderdown. I had no idea...!

Eddie, *heh*. I'm glad to hear the "quack" ... I mean doctor looked at your leg. I would imagine after an operation such as yours, an infection might be possible. Please say Hello to Maggie for me...! (And yes, ducks and geese ... flying everywhere ...)

Marcos, good question! I just Googled it, and apparently they fly in a "V" to save energy, and they take turns being the "lead" bird. Interesting, hey?

Djan, thank you! I was polishing my wooden ducks last night, and decided I wanted to share them. I wish I still had my eiderdown, though, believe me!

Amy said...

Jo, Your ducks are lovely; I can't believe how long the neck is on the large one!

Whenever I come over to visit, I come away feeling happier, so thank you!

Maggie May said...

I love your ducks too.
I remember eiderdowns from my youth but maybe they were cheaper feathers (hen) in ours.
I wouldn't ever eat a duck.
As regards loons........ well.....

Nuts in May

Katy said...

Thank you for sharring your ducks with us! What a wonderful gift to still have that blanket your mother made for you!

Brenda said...

I have never heard of eiderdown. This blogging world is too cool! I am a quilter, so I studied your photo a little. Did your Mom hand quilt it together? It is beautiful!

Jo said...

Amy, thank you! Gosh, that makes me feel good that you are happy when you visit my blog. :-) And the bird with the longer neck is a goose. They have longer necks than ducks, and are slightly larger.

Maggie, we were fortunate to have eider ducks, so the feather were real eider, and I had no idea (!!!) how valuable they were.

Katy, yes, my eiderdown was much more than just a comforter when I was growing up. :-)

Brenda, I think eider ducks are only in Canada. That photo is not my actual quilt, it is one that looks like it. But yes, she hand stitched it, and it was thick and fluffy.

Nezzy said...

I just loved readin' your looniness and seeing your lovely ducks today. We are enjoying watchin' the Olympics here in the Ozarks.

God bless and have a glorious day!!!

Jo said...

Nezzy, I'm glad you're enjoying the Olympics from there in the Ozarks. *heh* Have they shown any of the blossoming cherry trees here in Vancouver? It's crazy!

LadyCat said...

Love your ducks! We have one very similar to the brass one in our duck themed bathroom.
Thanks for visiting : )

Jo said...

LadyCat, you have a duck themed bathroom? How fabulous...!

Kathryn said...

My hubby & i have a standing duck joke ("Wanna buy a duck?" - some old radio show before our time but we thought funny). You kind of had to be there.

We have a couple of ducks we've picked up, but nothing like yours! I love the brass one, & the wooden ones, too.

We don't want folks to think we "collect ducks" tho, 'cause then you tend to get inundated!

Thanks for sharing.

L. D. Burgus said...

Hey thanks for stopping by. I feel overexposed by showing my artwork, but I will have to get use to it. I love your ducks. I have the brass one somewhere in my collection of things and had forgotten about. I will check you blog out more thoroughly later.

Cloudia said...

Love the fowl weather friends, Jo.


Comfort Spiral

Susan said...

And why is it, do you think, Jo, that women seem to always have some very personal connection with some sort of animal?
My mom loved elephants. I like cows.
My daughter likes ducks, too.
I've had friends who loved horses, goats, chickens.
I'm not talking about loving them as pets - my mom never saw an elephant outside the zoo. The women who collect ceramic chickens often grew up nowhere near a farm.
What's it all about?
I've only known one man who had a similar strong tie and that's the guy I live with. He loves rabbits.
And none of us could say why, exactly.

Blue Ridge Mountains said...

Love the name of your ducks, we have a Clementine Churchill Siamese cat, I guess we should have named the male Winnie. He is Czar Nicholas.
As always I enjoyed your post and those of your com-mentors.

Wolynski said...

When I was in Maryland, nothing but duck decoys.

Real feather comforters are sooo expensive. Mind you, I'd rather have one you can stick in the washing machine.

Nice post.

Meggie said...

I lived for a time as a Country Hotel Proprietress in the South Island of New Zealand. During the Duck Shooting Season, a Local brought me a Prize. A Canada Goose he had shot. I acted suitably impressed, and never told him, that when we sold the Hotel, the Goose remained in the Freezer!
There was no way on earth I could have ever eaten it!
Love your wooden ducks!

Jo said...

Kathryn, I have heard that expression before "Wanna buy a duck?" Where is that from? It always used to make me laugh.

L.D. Burgus, your paintings are wonderful. Keep showing them!

Cloudia, *Chuckle* :-)

Susan, I like cows too. Isn't that funny? You must see the movie "Temple Grandin" with Claire Danes...!

Wolynski, yes, even getting a real eiderdown cleaned can cost upwards of $100. Holy doodle!

Meggie, no, somehow I could not have eaten that goose either. Buying one from a shop, already cleaned, might be a different matter, though. *heh*

KathyB. said...

You're tired of the Olympics? I'm tired of the Olympics, so I have been getting a lot of reading and spring cleaning done, plus a bit of napping while my husband watches them.

Ducks, I love ducks..and Jo, looks like you're going to have to take out a loan to get that eiderdown, wow! Now that is bedding I would not let the cat sleep on.

BevB said...

I like finding people who give their animals interesting names. Lucille Ball and Winston Churchill definitely conjure specific mental images. My brother-in-law named his two ducks Cheese and Quackers, the two gobblers, Ike and Tina Turkey and his llama, Deli.